ACLU Hails Obama’s End to Deportations of Young Immigrants

The ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties applauds today’s announcement by the Obama Administration to halt deportations of young immigrants who came to the United States as children.

The Department of Homeland Security has the authority to change its internal regulations and determine how to enforce the nation’s  immigration laws.  The order will allow children who arrived before they turned sixteen and have lived in the United States for at least five years to apply for work permits and begin a path to citizenship as long as they pose no security threat and meet certain criteria.

“This is an important step towards a more fair and rational approach to immigration policy consistent with what’s best about America,” said Kevin Keenan, executive director of the San Diego ACLU. “These children and young people have already been jumping hurdles to achieve a better future. This new policy not only benefits the young immigrants, but serves the economic and community interests of the country as a whole.”

The administration decision today will allow undocumented immigrants under the age of 30 who are enrolled in school, hold a high school diploma, or serve in the military to stay and apply for authorization to work in the country as long as they have no criminal record and are not repeat offenders of immigration laws.

The San Diego ACLU calls for continued efforts on the part of the Obama Administration and Congress to ensure that any immigration reform legislation protects the civil rights, civil liberties, and human rights of everyone in the United States, regardless of his or her immigration status.

Read statement from the national ACLU.